2013/2014 – Thankful

Change is here!

Change is here!

This is my (not-so) regular end of year wrap-up for this year. I did not do one for 2013 so this will be a sort of overlapping review for both years.

Overall

In all, there’s been progress in almost all directions. 2013 started with a lot of stress in a strange land but 2014 started with renewed hope. There was a massive difference. By early 2013, I was at ground zero, having to start all over again. A year later, I was planning on some real progress. How things change over a year! I had some useful experience in my 2013 sojourn, though. I went to places I never thought I’d see and met lots of different characters. I also found out the true value of friendships and networks. There are lots of things I have to be thankful for over the course of these years. More detail next.

Family

Well, there was some real progress within the family as well as the regular issues. I was not around from late December 2012 till end of March 2013 and throughout everyone was in touch, even my sis with whom I had unsettled issues before I left. After a real crash-down where I was, rescue came from home, again! I’d say I’m very lucky to have a family like mine because we stick together no matter what, even when we have problems among ourselves.

Events included my immediate elder sis and her hubby had a birthday bash together (they have just one day between their birthdays) just a week after my return which was cool. The regular January 1st party/meeting in 2014 (I missed the last one), two cousins got married in 2013 and one had a baby in 2014. Another cousin’s wedding in late 2014 and a burial of an uncle which I did not attend. I was at almost all events.

Everyone witnessed some sort of progress individually during this period and there will be a lot to be thankful for this New Year’s Day party/meeting at our parents’. 2014 has been really good!

Friends

*sigh* Facebook wasn’t what it used to be for me so I did not really have any new active friends on there and even old friends were once-in-a-while chats. However, what did not materialize online, became an offline blessing. Out of the country (it was just a journey to two West African countries o), I met quite a varied number of characters, with only a few of them that could actually remain acquaintances. We don’t even communicate much anymore basically because I really don’t chat much these days.

Back in the country and I had a lot of help from some of my closest friends ever. First, it was one who helped me find my feet a bit with a job I was kinda reluctant to do, and the other fixed me up with a better one. Then some of the other things I’ve been able to do have owed a lot to some of my other close pals.

I lost touch with some of my favorite girls after I came back but met a few new ones and had a renewed contact with some old ones too on a quite regular basis, mostly in 2014.

My list of friends I’m ever grateful to over this period includes:

Krafty: You started me up again. Even if you did not know how much impact you made, just know you made a real impact here. God bless your family.

Kev: Ha! This guy! He’s effortlessly in my list of ‘best people ever’ since I can remember and he just keeps been awesome. I really do not need to say much about him. If you wanna know, just read here.

Dav: He’s more brother than friend at this point. Almost always there. Now that we’re almost always in touch, maybe 2015 would bring the plans to fruition. Thanks bro, for making 2014 a reality that it is now.

Papi: We’re possibly mutually exclusive to each other’s activities, but the psychological boosts from chats and calls and all the encouragements only make for better friendships. I’m still better at PES2013 though! 😉

PeeJhey: Okay, we’ve not been in touch for a while since MiTV days but 2014 had a lot of her in it. And it’s not just the discussions of her courseworks and projects, there was a lot of personal talks and real impact on me, despite being out of the country. She’s been a favorite girl of mine and now she’s even more or less a lil’ sis I never had.

Doyin: Now, here’s a girl I probably would have stolen away, if I could. If there was anything that made me like her more, it was that first meeting on WatchNight after more than 2 years without any sort of contact between us. You would have thought we were best of friends! Very warm personality and ever friendly yet intelligent and pretty. Just perfect for been ‘more than a friend’. Maybe, just maybe…

Other very notable mentions include AB Poet, Seun Tugbi, Eph, Mr. Wale, Mone, Yv, Biggie, Miss Balz, Chizzy, and many others.

Those I’ve truly, truly missed are Presh, Annie, Erl and Omoye (my favorite FB girls), Izy, Wemzy, George, Lawee, and the rest.

BBM

BBM was quite interesting, more in 2013 than 2014, when I got well into Wordosaur. I joined this group, got handed admin rights and ran a competition for about 4 months within the group with real cash prizes (or equivalent in airtime). Through this I met loads of wonderful peeps like CaKe, Sayo, Odi, Taiwo, Rukey, Oma and lots more.

Late 2014 saw me in various sports groups with my favorite now the ‘Naija born Gunners’ with a lot of heated arguments about our beloved team. Some favorites on there are Zex, Odi (again), Seun Labiran and FM while major ‘oppositions’ are Big T, 2nero and Aare. We all love the team but we only express our views from different perspectives and that’s what makes the fanbase so much more interesting!

Sports

Arsenal, more or less, remained Arsenal…except we shed the now tired tripe of being trophyless. Being Arsenal, though, the narratives just shifted to one trophy in 10 years despite the fact that we added a Community Shield at the expense of the moneyed Man City. All the same 2013 over to 2014 saw some real progress as we led the league for majority of last season before faltering towards the end and we also added two world-class and a bunch of quality players over the two summers.

Barca won the league in 2013 while losing all trophies contested for in 2014. The 13/14 season was especially disappointing as Messi also lost the Ballon D’Or to arch-rival, C. Ronaldo.

Nigeria won the Nations Cup in 2013 and I was able to experience the joy of celebrating in a rival country at the time. It was beautiful! Then we qualified from the group stage of the World Cup for the first time in ages only to be kicked out by France. No shame in that. The shame, however, is not qualifying for the 2015 Nations Cup! Regression has never been so quick!

On the World Cup, I desperately wanted Argentina to win so that my favorite player of all time will be assured of another Ballon D’Or. It wasn’t to be, though, as they lost in the final to a German team that destroyed the host country in the Semis. Three Gunners were in that squad so I celebrated all the same. However, that meant Messi has almost certainly conceded the award to Ronaldo again, who won the UCL and Del Rey as well as the Pichichi, despite being the World Cup’s MVP.

On the individual front, Messi kept breaking records after records and still remains my Number One player of all time. My favorite Gunner over this period has to be our player of the season, Ramsey, who turned on the style in 13/14 and won us the Cup with a lovely strike to down Hull City. And my favorite striker of all time, TH14, called time on his career at the end of 2014. A wonderful career that!

Other individual athletes I really loved this period were my girl, Asisat Oshoala, who took the world by storm in the U20 Women’s World Cup and the African Women’s Nations Cup, as well as our U17 wonderkid, Kelechi Iheanacho! Then my favorite tennis girl’s little sis, Serena rose up to stay No.1 for much of this period. I didn’t see much of other sports so, I round off here.

Business, Work, Financials

Well, I went from zero level to affording to buy what I need when I often need them. That counts as real progress, I suppose. From when I got back from my sojourn, after which I was jobless for about 3 months and being ready to do pretty much anything, I moved to a kind of marketing (a job I do not like for anything!)/supervisory job which I did for another two months. The pay started me off well but the stress was seriously bad so I was switching to teaching (quite reluctantly, I might add) when the offer came and I’m really grateful it did at the time. It’s not my ‘dream job’ by any means but it gave me a lot of things I wanted at the same time. I’ve been on it for over a year now and that says a lot about the guy(s) I work with!

I’m truly grateful for the opportunity, and though there’s so much room for improvement, I’m now far more balanced than I’d have expected when I got back over a year and a half ago. I’m still not yet where I ought to be but I know 2015 can make a very big difference positively and I’m gearing up for that!

Personal business-wise, not much happened. A few freelance stuff and just one small biz with my closest pal summed up all that came in (mostly with the pay still hanging). 2015 is focused more on me steadying on the job so the biz angle might still slow for a while yet, although, my plans are still intact and will be revised from time to time in readiness for any opportunity for execution.

Spiritual

*big sigh* Really, this is an area of my life that needs so much work. I’ve been on the ‘low battery’ level for most of this period. A lot of things really need to change in this aspect, and soon!

Relationships

Now, the story here is one that I’d not want to tell too much. First, the one I gave my heart to crushed it with a betrayal of trust that is still so hard for me to take. Then the ex before her came over for a weekend during which period I realized I had no feelings for her again (but the body though…)

After that, I entered another relationship with a lady I had crushed on mightily. It was enjoyable for me while it lasted, and being me, I was ready to think long term with her as I felt she was ready for the long haul. She had other ideas, though, and the result was one of the briefest relationships I’ve ever had. It wasn’t even long enough for me to miss her much after we broke up. I simply started feeling the pain of the ex before her (one whom I’d loved so much more than any other).

Next was a relationship that never came to be. She was an interesting one. Someone I thought we shared a lot in common but who turned out not as interested in what I wanted as I initially thought so we just faded away from each other totally.

Beyond these, I found out (quite late, in fact) that my childhood sweetheart, my first love, had passed away. This brought a lot of tears to my eyes and I had to do a little memorial for her here.

Finally…

In totality, 2013 to 2014 gave me a lot more to be thankful for and I give all the glory to the Almighty! This has been a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows as well as positives and negatives. From here on, as 2015 appears, this is me saying a big THANK YOU to all who have been a part of my journey through the years. I love you all! The new year will be better for us all!

HaPpY nEw YeAr!!!!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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A Remembrance of You

I say goodbye one last time.

I say goodbye one last time.

How do I begin? How do I start to tell the story of love that might have been but never was and, because of what has happened, will never be! It’s really sad! I never heard a thing. And that was because we’ve grown apart and so far away from each other. I know I’ll always have you in my heart because, who ever forgets the first love. You were my first love, even if I never knew what it meant at the time, but I later realized that I did feel something special for you. But now that you’re gone forever, we can’t even get the chance to rekindle such beautiful, hidden romance we once had. I’m beyond tears at this moment but the news of your passing, especially the way I found out, knocked the stuffing out of me! I’ll never forget you! And this post is a way to preserve the memory of you.

The story from the beginning was one of childish antagonism turned secret love affair. We just moved to our new 3-bedroom apartment in Akoka then and I and my immediate elder sis were still schooling at Festac so we only came over once in a while on weekends. It wasn’t long before we moved over finally to begin some of the longest periods I spent in one neighbourhood. The early days are quite foggy but one memory stood out for me. It always has. That fight at the tank downstairs. I hope you remember too. It was serious ‘chicken fight’ and we had a real go at each only to be separated by some of the adults around there. I still can’t remember what caused it but it’s one of my earliest memories of you.

It wasn’t long after that that everyone found out, including both of us, that we were birthmates. Yes! Same day, same month, same year! Then I knew you were always going to be special to me, even if I never wanted to show it. I’m sure finding out such information made us fond of each other, still secretly. We had a thing for each other but never talked about it. We only communicate with the eyes while in the crowd. We never really had time alone but when it’s just you, me and Bashiru, you were always different. I could hold you or touch you.

I remember the teases from Bro. Fatai and Bro. Jako. “Husband and wife,” they’ll say, anytime we were together with everyone and we used to fight against it going at them like we were very mad at the notion although we secretly both liked it. Other variations were “Iyawo Akin” or “Oko Basira” and we would start our tantrums. I grew out of it earlier than you, though. I just stopped responding to it but you were still fighting against any adult that tries to put what we had privately out there in public. I don’t think any of our mates really teased us about it.

I remember that one time when Papa came to our compound to play ball with I and Bashiru. He started telling us that he was going to marry you. I didn’t say anything about it even though I was quite pissed. Later that night, I was in your apartment watching Monsor and Bashiru play that new computer game when Bro. Fatai came in and started teasing you when he saw me there. You rushed to him and started hitting him. Then Bashiru dropped the bombshell! He said that Papa already said he’ll be the one to marry her so you should be ‘Iyawo Papa’. Bro. Fatai played along and you started asking Bashiru when and where Papa made this reference. I was a bit relieved that I was no longer the focus of the teases but I was mad inside that anyone else wanted to have you, much less my close friend.

I needn’t have worried. The following day, Papa came to see me while you were in the passageway playing with some of your friends. I can’t remember those that were there on that day but I guess they were the regulars: Nkechi, Efe and the rest. The moment you sighted him, you challenged him, “Come, Papa, who gave you wife? Are you sure you’re alright? Who do you want to marry?! If I hear such again…!” Or something like that, but you embarrassed him that day. I had to come out of our flat when I heard the noise just before Papa turned back and left. I pitied my friend but felt joy that you had just defended what we had. You wouldn’t let anyone take what we shared, even though many suspected and no one really knew. Except maybe Bashiru. And my sis, Lola. She was a tricky one. Always trying to get us together as much as possible.

I remember the days of ‘Dunlop’. I smile right now just thinking of those moments. ‘Dunlop’ was a game, quite pointless I might add, that we sort of invented where someone shouts “Dunlop!” and jumps on the bed, then the rest follow one on top of the other until last person and we roll over and start again, changing the first person. I remember we never wanted to follow each other even if it was just I, you, Bashiru and Lola. But we would try to feel for each other’s hands or bodies just before the roll over. On one of those fun nights, after we got tired of ‘Dunlop’, Lola came up with the idea of ‘Mummy and Daddy’ and, the matchmaker that she is, paired us together while she and Bashiru were the other family. Each family had a blanket to cover themselves with as their ‘house’. Under our blanket, we shared our very first kiss and held each other as much as we’ve always wanted. It was a night I’d never ever forget because that was the closest I got to you, ever! Other details of that night will be locked in my memories. Needless to say, that was the night I knew you truly felt the same way about me as I felt for you. That night I dared to dream that we would always be together and grow old together. Yes, we never really went to the ‘extreme’ but the closeness I shared with you that night was worth the thought! How wrong I was!

All these happened between the ages of 7 and 12 and I often looked back and thought if we’d grown up together, you would have been my one and only girlfriend, ever! I loved you like that. But it just wasn’t meant to be. You guys moved to your dad’s house, still around Akoka but we never got to see each other as much again. I visited with my siblings once or twice over the next few years but there was really nothing memorable apart from the fact that my heart still fluttered at the sight of you. I never really dropped the feelings I had for you. They just moved into my subconscious and resurfaced every single time I see you after that. Once just after I was through with WAEC and the other at your mom’s housewarming around Meiran when I was in my third year in the University. I still felt the same way about you. Even after two different relationships. I never knew how you felt, though. We never discussed it, even after I got your number and started calling every once in a while. You seemed like you’d moved on from our pre-teen romance and, though it was kinda sad for me, I couldn’t begrudge you for that.

We didn’t contact each other for a while until around 2011 when you gave me your BB PIN and we started chatting a bit on the regular. I remember that one time I asked about ‘the guy’ and told you if he wasn’t fast enough to snap you up, I’d just appear from nowhere and pack all the yams, palm oil and fruits to your parents and steal you away. You just laughed. I wished I had been capable then. I was in transition between relationships and I think I might have tried to start something with you. I moved on to someone else but I was still bothered you weren’t ‘off the market’ yet. After a while we just totally stopped communicating. I think I called once since that time, just to say ‘Hi’, besides the customary SMS I send on our birthday. It was almost obvious we were never going to be together because we’d grown apart but I still want to keep in touch anytime I think of you.

Today was one of those days when I thought of you and decided to check on you on Facebook and probably call you later to ask for your new PIN because you were no longer on my contacts list. I just wanted to know how you were faring and maybe see if you’re still available. I’ve never thought of myself as someone who can handle inter-religious marriage. I deeply respect those brave people who make it work. I naturally believe that there are too many things to work out between couples in a marriage before now adding the religious aspect into the mix. But with you I was willing to make an exception, if we ever had the chance. I always told anybody I spoke to about you that you were the only girl I could have ever gotten married to as a non-Christian and I would be willing to try and work it out. You were that special to me!

Imagine my horror, sadness and depression when I found condolence messages on your wall. I was shocked to the marrows! I couldn’t utter anything as I scrolled down the messages, hoping to see a response from you that all’s well and you appreciate the messages. I never wanted to accept that they were talking about you! It’s been 2 months. October 9th, to be precise. And I was just finding out today. I didn’t cry. My state of shock was too deep to bring tears to my eyes. That would come later, I know. I motioned through the day and knew I had to do this.

This is my remembrance of you, my dear soulmate! This is where I’ll come to share time with you now. I loved you like I’ve never loved anyone else! Even if the relationship was hidden and short-lived, you still existed in my subconscious.

You will forever live in my memories!

Rest in Peace, my darling!

Adieu, Bas’rat Yakub!

The last picture I personally took.

The last picture I personally took.

Things You Should Know About Introverts

For those who get mad at us introverts for one thing or the other, you need to read this to understand us better.

Playfully Tacky

From MeetTheIntroverts.com From MeetTheIntroverts.com 1) We need to recharge alone.
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds.
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence.
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad…

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We Won The Cup!!!

FA Cup Champions!

FA Cup Champions!

Yes, we did! And what a glorious way to do it! And, yes, John Brewin, Dale Johnson and all those Arsenal haters down at ESPNFC don’t even know what they’re talking about. Yes, I’ll go light on them ‘cos… We Won The Cup!!!

Ok, let’s track back a little. I know it’s been a while I’ve been here but I won’t dwell on all that. Will I make up for lost time? I don’t think so, but I hope to put up two posts back to back and this is the first. Maybe sometime, someday, I’ll try to catch up with everything and probably run posts every single day for one month (that’ll be awesome!), but not at this time. There’s so much to write (when I eventually get to settle down and think, which is actually getting harder to do these days) and I hope to vent sometime. Presently, I’m not happy with my output at work and it’s getting plainer that enthusiasm alone doesn’t cut it in the real world. Efforts aren’t producing desired results and I’m just getting a little flustered. That said, I just feel like I should take a short break to get on here and cool off a bit before I go back on hiatus again. I might probably find a way past my present conundrum by the time I’m done.

Now that I’ve digressed seriously from the issue at hand (actually, I felt that last paragraph was quite important, even for me), let’s get back to the story of the day, shall we? Yea. So, we won the cup. Big deal. I mean, BIG DEAL!!! This is Arsenal! Trophyless Arsenal! Perennial Fourth Placers! Nine Years Empty Cabinet Owners! Then we pick up the FA Cup (not just any cup but the still-prestigious FA Cup) and all some people had to say is “it’s against Hull City”, “it’s just one cup”, “they didn’t show enough to promise more” or any of the inane variant of “we hate Arsenal and we won’t recognize them as winners” statement. Who frigging cares??!! We Won The Cup!

First, to the Gooners, how did that feel? Oh my, was it heart-attack inducing and heavenly-experience enacting at the same time! After a quite promising season where we unexpectedly started expecting the Gunners to win the Prem turned into an almost nightmare scrap for 4th place, we all thought winning the FA Cup was just going to be a “well, we tried at the end of the day” kinda feeling. How do you REALLY feel now?! I mean, we’ve been Invincible before (one and only) and that was awesome but winning a cup in the most harrowing manner possible after nine trophyless seasons turns the brain to mush. No need to be ashamed, it’s very understandable. I’m sure a lotta people partied harder than they thought they would.

It was massive in a lot of ways. First, the team can now be confident that all the narratives that label them overall as ‘perennial losers’ have been rubbished. The manager can now be sure that he will never be called a ‘specialist in failure’ any time soon (hi Jose, we just won a trophy!) Most importantly, the fans now have something to rub in the face of the taunting opposition for a while yet. We are now champions of something, and that in a season where Chelski won ZERO trophies, Liverpool won ZERO trophies and ManU got relegated from Europe. (I won’t mention Spuds ‘cos at the end of the day, they really don’t count.) How much more awesome can it be?! They can’t ridicule the cup sensibly ‘cos they all won NOTHING… ZILCH! And we all know ManCity have no real fans, so…we remain Kings among peers! Ha-ha!

Now, for those dim-wits writing on ESPNFC and other sites that are supposed to be neutral but we all now know aren’t, all of them can go and hug transformer! Lemme quote some Mode Nine here for them,

“Go plank a bee hive, or better yet, strap some weights on and deep sea dive!”
Mode Nine, Naija BET Cypher 2011

Really, it’s quite annoying. I read ESPNFC a lot. It’s like my favorite soccer site (behind ‘The Short Fuse’ and other Arsenal sites, of course) as I like to free my mind from the bias that might be on dedicated club sites. What I’ve found? Club sites even provide more objective analysis than these over-biased idiotic analysts.

What really got me this mad? Well, we just won the FA Cup (like you might have already been aware) and even though I watched the whole match, I wanted to read some analysis of what had transpired because my brain was in celebratory mood and couldn’t really do any proper processing of what was just delivered on the screen. First port of call? My favorite, ESPNFC. What did I find? John Brewin’s analysis. I actually never knew what to make of this guy since I’ve been reading some of his posts, although I had a feeling he doesn’t analyze Arsenal favorably, like lots of them there, but then Arsenal has always given itself up as an easy target for negative analysis more often than not so, yea, I never complained. But then, we just won a cup (after a nine-year drought, made more painful by the constant mention in the media) and coming from two goals down nonetheless, you would think there has to be something positive to take away. Well, not for ESPNFC’s writers apparently. All Brewin saw was a side that’s not promising enough to win any other thing in the nearest future. Yea, well, they all thought we wouldn’t make Europe this season too and see how that turned out. I just pity ManUnited fans at the moment. Brewin can kiss my black a** for all I care ‘cos, well, We Won The Cup!

Next up, Dale Johnson. Writing the now-famous ‘Three Things’ which I quite enjoy reading sometimes and they couldn’t have found a more negative writer (from an Arsenal perspective) for the match. All Dale could talk about was an Arsenal side that struggled to create anything against an excellent Hull side who somewhat deserve more than they got (translation: Arsenal do not deserve the trophy.) I laugh! I mean Hull gave a good game, and I’ll say that anywhere, but facing an Arsenal side who many agreed were not on their A-game and losing a 2-goal lead barely counts as excellent in my books. On the flipside, coming from 2-goals down when you’re not playing your best football and eventually winning the game in an exhausting 120 minutes, in a cup final, no less! Now, that’s stuff of champions! And all those who keep saying “it was against lowly Hull City” are just pointless buffoons. No one needs to be reminded of who pipped Arsenal to the cup and the last final they ever managed before this one. Neither do I need to mention a certain Wigan that beat the almighty moneybags in last season’s final and promptly got relegated (at the Emirates, mind you.) In fact, you can argue that Hull City should be ashamed that a lowlier team than them beat a better team than us in the same situation. And what’s more, they did it twice!

That takes me to Gabby Marcotti, who I actually kinda respect his general analysis, after making peace with the fact that he was never going to write about Arsenal even if we won the World Cup (if that were possible). However, I was surprised he gave us a few lines in his ‘Monday Musings’ after the FA Cup win. After a few quite mundane lines about Arsenal being consistent despite the struggle over the past trophyless period, he went ahead to downplay the importance of the win referring to the fact that we played all games either at home or at Wembley and played against two weak teams in the Semis and Final. I mean, WTF!!! Wigan just finished disgracing the eventual BPL champions on their home turf (where’s the home advantage here), I wonder who was supposed to be more afraid on a neutral ground. An Arsenal team who had the pedigree of failing when it mattered most (especially losing to teams they should be beating, according to these same people) or a Wigan team who were in high-octane mode after an epic win and, lest we forget, were defending champions. Some easy game that was supposed to be! And then a final where more than 95% of players from both teams combined don’t even know what it feels like to win a trophy with the psychological pressure on the Gunners as ‘favorites’ or more appropriately, ‘trophyless favorites’. I’d say the advantage was Hull’s to cause an upset. And then, it’s the FA Cup Final where stranger things have happened. How all these people expected this to be a walkover is beyond me. Why wouldn’t everyone celebrate wildly?! And I mean EVERYONE! Manager, players and fans! We’ve been trophyless for nine years. Every other person has reminded us of that fact every single chance they have. We were down two goals in the first ten minutes. Tell me what could be more gloriously satisfying than eventually winning the trophy under these circumstances. Honestly!

Anyway, I don’t care much for all these so-called analysts and their biased analysis. In fact, I’d preferably read a confirmed Arsenal-hater’s article than any of these guys’. My sanity was restored after reading TSF and later David Hirshey (my No.1 ESPNFC blogger by far). By the way Gooners, not all’s rotten on ESPNFC. There’s Hirshey, who is a lifelong Gooner and a verified Mourinho hater but still as objective as can be, and there’s the Arsenal blog on there too where Andrew Mangan (Arseblog owner) writes along with some others.

At the end of the day, all’s rosy at the Red half of North London and we’ve struck dead all sorts of narratives all in one game! We gave the neutrals a spectacular final and I’m sure everyone got their money’s worth in terms of drama and excitement. Fittingly, our No.1 player of the season hit the last nail in the coffin of Arsenal’s past woes. What else can I say? Good times are here again! Whether we build on this or not (though the pointers are all on the former), one thing’s for sure:

WE WON THE CUP!!!

We Won The Cup!!!

We Won The Cup!!!

Letter 2 My Unborn Child

This one's for you

This one’s for you

My Sweet Baby,

This is my letter to you before you were conceived. It’s a way of getting out a few things off my mind and probably lay a foundation for some other things too. I know you might think I was probably inspired by the great rap icon, Tupac (I expect you would’ve heard about him by the time you get to read this), and that’s correct, at least with the title.

It’s been a long while since I actually wrote anything personal and I felt this was a very good way for me to pick up on my writing again. As you would’ve noticed, I put this up on my blog, yea, Daddy has a blog (if that’ll still be in vogue then) and I did write a bunch of stuff before this, but this is like the most important of the lot. Why?! Did you really ask that? Well, because it’s written to you, that’s why! You, along with your siblings (as well as your mom, mind you) are the most important part of my future life! That is, my life now as you’re reading this.

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten the ‘why’ out of the way, next up is the ‘what’. What exactly do I want to say to you? On this point I may have to sound like the great rapper mentioned earlier and ask for help from the Lord.

Let’s see… Where do I start?

Ok, first and foremost, you need to know that at the time of putting down this letter, I still do not know who your mom will be, but I can assure you she’ll be a great woman. I promise you that. Well, you’ll expect that I should’ve been very serious with her before ‘penning’ this letter but as it is kinda hard these days to find someone trustworthy and good enough to be your mom, as well as a wife to me, I wouldn’t let that hold me back from communicating with you. I may have to write you an update when she’s finally decided but for now, just know she’ll be awesome, okay?

By the way, I should mention that there’s actually someone who I’m hoping will be your mom ‘cos she’s really good with kids and I’m so sure she’ll qualify as what you’ll call a supermom, :D! But the thing is, she’s not made her mind up yet, so I still can’t introduce her to you at this time. Whatever happens, there’ll still be a story to tell and your mom will still be the best like I promised so, that’s for that.

Moving on, what was dad like before you guys were born? Well, he was just like any other normal guy out there. Grew up in a loving family (guess you must’ve known that by now, seeing as you would always look forward to having your cousins over or going over to their place), struggled with life for a while and eventually made something of himself. I need to let you know that you kids are my primary drive to achieve all that I achieved. I always want the best for you and would do anything positive to ensure that! At the moment, dad’s just picking up from ground level and by the time you’re reading this, you may not understand what that is but believe me when I tell you, life’s not a bed of roses. You have to work hard, work smart to get to where you want to be.

When you’re reading this, you’re probably going to one of the best schools around and having almost anything you need available but you need to understand that all this is privileged and you must appreciate that fact. Important still, you must make the best of what you have at the moment. Use them as leverage to make you the best person you can be. I know I must’ve told you several times already but let me tell you here again, never let pride into your life. Be proud of who you are and where you’re from but never let it get into your head so much that you look down on people.

Like I initially said, the life you live now is privileged so never miss an opportunity to make an impact in someone’s life. Give as much as you can as often as you can. You will discover that you grow more naturally that way. You will also learn that it is alright to teach what you know to those who don’t. It helps to broaden your own knowledge. Always assist someone when you’re in the position to, most especially those close to you. I hope the wise words, “Charity begins at home” hasn’t worn out by the time you read this. Based on this, you need to take care of your siblings very well.

To that point, you have to be careful when helping your siblings because caring for someone may be misconstrued as doing everything for them but that isn’t the case. Like you will already know by now, your mother and I have trained you to be able to think for yourself. That is far more important than us doing everything for you. So you need to understand that rather doing their homework for them, it’s better to teach them how it should be done and let them do it for themselves.

Another thing you must understand, never stop learning. If you’re the best in your class (as I expect you are), do not rest on your oars and think you’re done and dusted. There’s still so much to learn. If you’re just ‘among the best’, then you already know there’s work to do for you to stand out. Never stop striving for excellence. You need to believe you can be the best in everything you do but do not let failure get you down. Every letdown teaches you something so always learn from your failures. They often remind us that we’re humans and might actually be ‘speed bumps’ helping us to slow down and look around. I’ve learnt over time that there’s nothing that teaches like experience and that is just a compilation of our errors of the past.

On experience, you do not always have to learn through your own mistakes. The best way to learn from experience is often through other people’s own. You need to read, and read a lot too. It’s okay to have preferences but keep in mind that what doesn’t add to you most probably takes away from you so you need to be very careful. But then again, there’s always something to learn if you keep an open mind.

As for relationships, you’ll learn a lot more as you grow older but for now, you should know that your association with other people can be very important for the future. Keep friends that are actually worth the memories, let others pass through and try as much possible not to leave any negative impressions. People will always form an opinion about you but just do your best to do the right thing at all times. You should always look to make a positive impact in the lives of people that cross your path, even if it’s for a brief moment. It could be something as intangible as helping an old lady across the road or a piece of advice to an acquaintance.

When it comes to you, never let people’s opinion of you hold you back. Try as much as possible to discover who you truly are: your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, and stuff like that. Let that be the passion that drives you. Learn to stay positive like I know I will always tell you. Optimism is a good thing to have. There’s always a bright side to everything, try to look at that. Build your self esteem. You have to like who you are and always work towards being a better person.

Always listen to your mum and I, we always want what’s best for you and your siblings and we know what we’re doing. When we chastise you, don’t ever think that we don’t love you because no one will ever love you all like we do. But you will do things that need to be corrected and we will employ different means of correction as you grow older. It’s all just our own little contributions to making you better individuals. Listen to what we tell you and do what you are told to do on time. You should already know how open we are to you so feel free to talk to us about anything and everything. It is important that you’re close to us.

Finally, put God first in everything you do! I cannot stress this enough. By now I expect you already know how seriously I and your mum take the issue of your Christian life. You must have a close relationship with the Almighty and maintain it. He will always be there when we can’t and there’s no better person to guide you than Him. Pray everyday, because that’s how you talk to Him. Read your Bible, because that’s how you learn from and about Him. Find time to meditate, because that’s how you listen to Him. Stay active in church, because that’s how you give Him your service. Always remember, there’s nothing bigger than Him.

So, that’s it. That’s all I have to say for now. I’ll try to write you another letter most likely for a more specific purpose. I hope you were able to learn a few more things in this. This is my first ever letter to you. Keep it close to your heart.

Thank you for reading through, my dear. I love you always!

You're always a part of me!

You’re always a part of me!

Trapp’d

Don't get trapp'd!

Don’t get trapp’d!

This is a post I wrote last year. Just going through my drafts and found it. I think it’s the best one to start off again with. Enjoy, and comment if you will.

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Been a while. Yea, yea, I can start talking about a lot of water passing under the bridge but you will be seeing a lot more of that soon as the rains have decided to finally suspend the strike in solidarity with the ‘homecoming’ of the prodigal sons of the medical profession. Ok, maybe not exactly the prodigal setting but you get my drift, don’t you? Oh, those of you who play Asphalt know how much points I can get for that, right?

Damn, I’m pen-rusty! To think that I’ve been writing even on my leave from here, and I still sound so rusty?! What have I been doing??!!

*quiet time for meditation*

**you don’t have to stay silent with me, just keep on reading while I meditate**

Yea, I’m done. Ok, what am I s’posed to be talking about today? Emmm… *scrolling up to see the title* Ok, yea, (how many times have I used those two words already? I really AM rusty!) ‘Trapp’d’. How did I think this up? Well… I think I was watching this video I recorded on my phone of a rat (one of those large ones) I caught with that gummy mouse trap, and I thought… Trapp’d! Yea!!! Believe it or not, it’s nothing special. Both the formation of the title and the catching of the rat/mouse (spot the difference.)

Actually, I may be able to do something useful with the title tho’. Let’s see… *putting thinking glasses in position* Yea! (again?!) Let’s go. *putting thinking shoes on*

Being trapped physically is a serious torture, moreso for the claustrophobic. Imagine yourself buried beneath a pile of rock at a mining site or getting cornered by Tom & four cats with no escape hole anywhere in the wall behind you (if you were Jerry.) The feeling is unimaginable! Ok, maybe it’s imaginable. Fear, anxiety, fading hope. And almost everyone has experienced some form of being trapped but no kind of trapping is as bad as mental entrapment.

*This continues after a month of the written texts above*

Getting mentally trapped is, in many ways, very dangerous. It comes in many forms but it simply limits your ability to achieve. Imagine a group of people who believe that when just one person in their midst becomes really wealthy, the rest are meant to worship and feed from him. They simply can’t break free! They’ll die in abject poverty without even knowing they could have been better.

It’s the same for many who feel they must work that 9-to-5 to survive in life. To these ones, getting sacked = suicide! Mental Entrapment. Then there’s also the majority who believe if the government doesn’t set the economy right (which has an occurrence probability of less than 1%), they’ll never be able to ‘make it’. These are the ones that go day to day grumbling about the next government action that fails to resolve another issue at a time when they are supposed to be bothered with how to be productive.

The mental trap does not exclude the rich. In fact, theirs is worse! The fear of losing the ‘little’ that they’ve gathered is very real to them that they barely sleep at night. They lose sight of the fact that giving is the best way to keep receiving and material things are just that. Materials. To be used, especially for benefit. The same goes for those in power. The mental trap is what gets them drunk and makes them always want to ‘sit tight’. It’s crazy. They’re crazy! Mentally trapped people are!

You only need to understand the capacity and potential of people to realize how crazy it is to trap oneself in a particular mental condition. The truth is each and every one of the above group of people can do better and actually make the world more livable.

If you read this and it speaks to you in a special way, all you need to know is, you can do better. You’re set up to add something to wherever you find yourself and you really can’t do it all. We’re meant to have seasons. There’s a time to lead and there’s a time to follow. There’s a time to give and there’s a time to take. Impact is what we’re supposed to make. Lives are supposed to be changed after any contact with us. If we can see this we can make it better.

Think about it!

Break free from the crowd mentality!

Break free from the crowd mentality!

Do-or-Die Affair

Questionable relationships won't work

Questionable relationships won’t work

This post is from an a.e. called NiceGuy. If you don’t know what an a.e. is, please don’t bother asking. Ok, moving on, he just wanted to address a relationship issue and I decided to provide the outlet. Read, enjoy and comment!

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Well, I’m who I am… A nice guy! Yes, my girls, (ex’s and all) know that, so it’s not just me saying it. Anyway, this piece isn’t really about me. It’s about some people’s disturbing views about relationships. I just don’t know where to start.

First off, I’m the kind of guy that loves deeply. I respect my ladies and expect them to reciprocate. I do my best to stay faithful (which is kinda easy as I do not believe I can handle multiple partners.) In fact, I try to stay away from sex in my relationships (which is easier said than done.) With this sort of attitude to relationships, it’s easy to form a do-or-die mindset since you’re giving everything you feel is right for the relationship and you expect nothing less. From experience (not personal, mind you), however, it’s guys like this that get dumped most often by the ladies.

Now, I’m someone who believes that there’s nothing like ‘just one person for you’. In essence, when any of my relationships fail, I know I’ve given everything to make it work so I just dust myself up and open up to another. It’s been a difficult experience so far but it’s also been rewarding in some areas. I don’t believe sleeping with a lady makes you a superstar so I don’t actually feel bad about nothing going the whole way with her before the relationship ended. In fact, with my fear of the (sorta) spiritual bonding sex creates between lovers, I’m always thankful I didn’t go there. So you can imagine how absurd it sounds to me when a guy wants to date a girl by all means necessary.

How on earth will someone believe that if he/she doesn’t date one person the world must end? Then it gets worse when the person you’re actually chasing up and down is in a solid relationship already. This situation can be viewed from many different angles.

In a relationship, I believe that both of you have to somehow fight for the relationship. There will be issues, problems, temptations and times when you just want to end it, but the strongest relationships endure all these. As much as I don’t believe in the do-or-die mentality, I believe you have to fight for what you believe is yours ‘to a reasonable extent’! Imagine a relationship where there was a serious issue and one of both parties decides the relationship cannot go on. It’s up to the partner to try to get the other back. If the leaving partner is bent on ending it even after various persuasions from the pleading partner, then it may be time to let it go, no matter how hard. If the love is strong enough, it shouldn’t take too long for a leaving partner to have a change of heart.

Like I always say, relationships can never be a one-way street, otherwise it won’t work. Both partners have to share everything within it, especially the love and emotions. Now, when you’re trying to ‘catch’ this girl after you feel there’s so much ‘green light’, and she balks, then there’s room for persistence, especially if she’s single. Putting in a little pressure and perseverance is ok as ladies like to feel wanted most times before giving in. It’s acceptable only for a period of time and that duration can only be determined by common sense (which is quite scarce.) If she keeps blocking you, then it’s reasonable to move on with your life.

But in cases where the lady hints at you that she’s already in a relationship, the rational thing is to leave her be! Except you’re thinking of entering into a ‘three-way’ which won’t happen in this part of the world. Why would you really want to force yourself on a girl who keeps telling you she’s in love with someone else? No matter what you think you have for her, it’s not love if you keep insisting on having her. Life’s not fair and you can’t always have what you want. But then, she’s never going to be ‘the only one’ for you. Best move on with your life and open up to other opportunities. There’s no point making both your lives miserable!

No matter what commitment you think you’ve made into the life of another, it doesn’t make you own them, if not, you would also be a ‘life-slave’ to someone else. I think we can do with a little bit of rationality and common sense in the world today. Open your eyes and see a better future ahead of you, not tied to any one person but to a series of associations and relations with many different people. It’s time we do things the right way, starting with how we think of our relationships with people.

This is just how I see the issue discussed. Comments are welcome.

Thanks Seryx! Out!!

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There you have it! Always welcome, NiceGuy! Bye y’all. Till when next we show up.

Signing Out!

Find a balance between the rational and the emotional

Find a balance between the rational and the emotional

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